Bereavement Leave

General Details
Network:
Citymothers
Profession:
Law
Type of leave:
Compassionate
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Positive
Work pattern on return:
Part-time
Message In April 2013 my family were told that my father - who had been in perfect marathon running health - had a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme - a terminal brain tumour. The shock and pain were enormous. I very quickly learned that my mother was understandably not capable of managing the various hospitals and doctors involved. These health professionals made errors and there was bad treatment planning so it was very clear that I had to take over. This meant accompanying my parents to appointments, researching treatment options and getting second opinions. Sadly, my father died after only 4.5 months. So it also meant organising a funeral and probate and spending time with my mother. My employer - an investment bank - was fabulous. They put me in touch with an internal team of medical professionals who were on call to help me throughout the process - any employee who is critically ill or who has an immediate family member who is critically ill can access this team. They provided practical and emotional help which was invaluable. My employer also provided Occupational Therapy who liaised with me about my return date and about a phased return and weekly catch ups in the first month. My employer also kept me on full pay and did not prorate my bonus that year even though I was out of the office for 6 months. My return to work was seamless and I don't feel that it affected my career trajectory. I cannot be more grateful to them. Incidentally I resigned in 2015 - but that was nothing to do with how they handled the process and more to do with me needing to finish a 13 year chapter.
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